My husband of 30 years put his son over him as power of attorney!! What does this mean for me as his wife?

This worries me as far as all of our assets, where or what will be done if something happens to him. He done this without my knowledge as well. I need to know anything that would help me in the steps I need to do to protect me after 30 years of marriage!! Thanking you in advance!!!

Anderson, SC -

Attorney Answers (3)

James P. Frederick

James P. Frederick

Power of Attorney Lawyer - Livonia, MI
Answered

There is not enough information provided to give you any more than very basic information. Most states allow POA forms that take effect either: 1) as soon as they are signed; or 2) only when two physicians or a court have certified your husband to be incapacitated. If you have the former, then how it effects you depends on the assets that you have and how they are titled. If everything is jointly owned, then your son court theoretically access (and drain) your bank accounts.

If the form does not take effect until your husband is incapacitated, it is possible his son will either not hear about that right away, or he may not even be aware he was named as agent under the form. So it may not affect you, at all.

If it were me, I would be very uncomfortable if all assets were joint, and one of my kids could access my funds, whenever they felt the desire to do so.

One of your options would be to withdraw 1/2 of the assets and place them out of the reach of your husband, (and his son). Of course, it is likely that this will be discovered, and it might open a rift between the three of you. On the other hand, you have an absolute right to feel (and be) secure financially and in your relationship.

Given this action by your husband and his failure to be open and upfront about it, it suggests that you may need to take care of your own estate planning. You may even want to consider naming someone other than your husband to make decisions for YOU, in the event you ever become incapacitated.

I am sorry you are going through this. Marriage is supposed to be a little less clandestine than this.

James Frederick

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Evan Kyle Guthrie

Evan Kyle Guthrie

Power of Attorney Lawyer - Charleston, SC
Answered

A power of attorney allows an agent, in this case his son, to be appointed to manage a principal's assets and if it is durable then even after they become incapacitated. There are certain provisions that may affect you such as a potential gifting provision that would allow the agent to gift the principal's assets for use other then the principle's benefit. If there is gifting then the agent would potentially have access to the husbands assets, but this may potentially allow access to joint accounts or joint property between you an your husband.

If there are trust issues with the son and you are concerned that any joint assets that you hold may be affected then you may want to put your assets in your name only. Another possible course of action would be to have him revoke the current power of attorney and make a new one with you as the agent if he still has capacity to do so.

Evan Guthrie Law Firm is licensed to practice law throughout the state of South Carolina. The Evan Guthrie Law Firm practices in the areas of estate planning probate wills living trust special needs trusts personal injury accident and divorce and family law and entertainment law. For further information visit his website at http://www.ekglaw.com . Evan Guthrie is the founder of Law Student Land http://www.lawstudentland.com . 843 Area http://www.843area.com/south-carolina/charlesto... LegalJet http://www.legaljet.com/Lawyers/Evan-Guthrie-Ch... Charleston Digitel http://charleston.thedigitel.com/users/ekglaw Evan Guthrie Law Firm 164 Market Street Suite 362 Charleston SC 29401 843-926-3813

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Joseph Michael Pankowski Jr

Joseph Michael Pankowski Jr

Power of Attorney Lawyer - Stamford, CT
Answered

Attorney Frederick is correct. I would urge you to consult with an experienced estate planning attorney in South Carolina so that he or she can review your assets and provide you with advice under these circumstances. Good luck to you.

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